NYU Alumni & Friends Connect

November 15, 2021

No longer just a necessity for our survival, food and drink has become a stronghold of entrepreneurship culture—and NYU alumni are no exception—with so many of our alumni opening up shop and serving up artisanal decadence for “foodies” everywhere. From organic wine to Ghanaian chocolate to “good as gold” olive oil and nutritionally driven coffee, these NYU alumni entrepreneurs have nourishment for all your wants and needs (and cravings!).

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This is not an exhaustive list and only highlights a small number of NYU alumni businesses. Please visit the NYU Alumni-Owned Business Directory for a more comprehensive list or to submit your business. Please note inclusion does not indicate endorsement by NYU.

Antler Beer and Wine Dispensary

Founded by Karen Steinmentz (CAS ’97), Antler Beer and Wine Dispensary is a craft beer & organic wine bar offering a simple menu of small plates in an eclectic atmosphere focused on music and art.

'57 Chocolate

'57 Chocolate is the pioneer bean to bar chocolate company in Ghana. '57 is short for 1957, the year of Ghana’s independence. Founded by two Pan-African sisters, one of them being NYU alumna Priscilla Addison (WAG ’13), '57 channels Ghana’s Independence Day spirit by manufacturing finished goods using the country's resources to create delicious treats in small batches.  

Black Seed Bagels

Black Seed Bagels is an artisan bagel shop co-founded by friends Matt Kliegman (STERN ’05) & Noah Bermanoff and led by James Beard-nominated executive chef Dianna Daoheung. Dianna developed Black Seed's signature bagel recipe, a New York-style bagel made with some baking techniques borrowed from Montreal. Since opening its first location in 2014, Black Seed has been pushing the boundaries of how NYC bagels are made, and prides itself in using only the highest quality ingredients.

Dirt Candy

Dirt Candy is the city’s only vegetable restaurant, serving nothing but vegetables, with the goal to make them taste better than anything you’ve ever had before. Amanda Cohen (CAS ’95) founded this restaurant with inventive vegetarian dishes & classic cocktails presented in stylish, airy surrounds.

Fatty Sundays

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Fatty Sundays specializes in making gourmet pretzels. Founder Ali Borowick Zmishlany (SPS ’08) and her family had the idea to share their most-favorite sweet + salty treats with the world and set out to give their mom’s famous rainbow sprinkle pretzels a refresh and create a line of gourmet pretzels in never-been-done-before-flavors.  

Fit Grinds

Fit Grinds starts with great-tasting certified organic fair trade coffee that's shade-grown and free of toxins and pesticides. Then they add important nutrients that help improve your health without changing the taste of your coffee or your brewing routine. And because Fit Grinds shade-grown coffee comes directly from small organic farms in Central and South America, every cup helps preserve wildlife habitat and keeps harmful chemicals out of the environment. Why? Because health is founder Brent Dilts’ (STERN ’10) passion.  


Who doesn’t love a good salad from Chopt? For founder Tony Shure (CAS ’98), serving the best tasting salads around means finding the highest quality ingredients and crafting the most inspired dressings.  


Brightland carefully sources their olives from a family-run California farm, then crafts them into custom-blended oils. Their sole ingredient comes from trees that live on for thousands of years; so you can rest assured that what you’re putting into your body is straight from the earth. It’s grounded. It’s good for you. It’s never seen a lab. Founder Aishwarya Iyer (GAL ’09) says this olive oil is as good as gold.  

With so many NYU alumni businesses to choose from, we hope your next meal is topped with #VioletPride. If your love for good eats doesn’t stop there, and food research and urban farming is more of your thing, check out the NYU Urban Farm Lab—a little farm lab in a big city. Fun fact: it’s the first urban agriculture project in the City of New York on a landmarked site. Maintained by a cohort of students enrolled in the Urban Agriculture class led by professor Laurel Greyson, and supported by work from generous volunteers, the farm is used year-round for teaching and research about urban agriculture in New York City.